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  India   Politics  04 Mar 2017  In Varanasi, Modi leads road show; prays at historic temples

In Varanasi, Modi leads road show; prays at historic temples

Published : Mar 4, 2017, 1:02 pm IST
Updated : Mar 4, 2017, 5:28 pm IST

Shrikant Sharma alleged that BJP party poster have been pulled down from across the city and that declares panic in the SP-Congress camp.

Narendra Modi at Kaal Bhairav temple at Varanasi. (Photo: Twitter)
 Narendra Modi at Kaal Bhairav temple at Varanasi. (Photo: Twitter)

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit the campaign trail in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi on Saturday by embarking on a road show from the gate of Banaras Hindu University.

Travelling in an SUV, Modi concluded his massive road show by offering prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple in Varanasi.

Huge crowd gathered on the streets to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister. People were seen on both sides of the road, standing on balconies and rooftops of buildings. Supporters also raised slogans shouting ‘Har har Modi, Ghar ghar Modi’ and showered flowers at him.

According to reports, Congress and Samajwadi party supporters also showed up and waved their party flags at Bhadaini area. They shouted slogans supporting Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi and Modi supporters responded with louder chants.

Modi also garlanded the statue of freedom fighter Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, who was also the founder of the BHU. On his way, he also offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to address two election rallies at Jaunpur and Varanasi.

Meanwhile, the BJP in Varanasi charged the administration with "selectively" pulling down its posters in the name of implementing the poll code.

However, a top police official dismissed as "baseless" the allegations levelled by the party and said the administration was acting in an "impartial" and "non-partisan" manner.

BJP spokesman Shrikant Sharma said, "The entire city is dotted with posters and banners put up by the ruling Samajwadi Party in the state and its ally, the Congress.”

"However, we have observed that the district administration has been selectively pulling down those put up by our party, especially the ones featuring the Prime Minister Modi who is in the city", he charged

"The SP-Congress alliance is obviously in panic as it faces a certain rout in the assembly polls. The public response in this holy city will be there for all to see on a day when parallel programmes of Modi and Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi are scheduled", he told reporters here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in his Lok Sabha constituency this morning, is scheduled to address his first public meeting here, for the Assembly polls, in the evening.

Sharma said, "What is, however, shocking is that the administration is acting in such a partisan manner. The administrative machinery, once the model code of conduct is in place, becomes answerable to the Election Commission and no other authority.

"But the culture of serving political masters has become deeply ingrained in the state's bureaucracy. All that will change by March 11, though when results will be out and the BJP will get an absolute majority and form the next government, paving way for restoring rule of law in the state", Sharma added.

Dismissing the allegations levelled by Sharma, Inspector General of Police, Varanasi zone, N Ravinder told PTI over phone, "The allegation (of BJP posters and banners being selectively pulled down) are baseless.

"We are discharging our duties in an impartial and non-partisan way, with an attitude of no fear or favour towards any political party and strictly in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Election Commission," he said.

Top BJP leaders and members of the Union council of ministers have been camping in the city to galvanize public support in favour of the party, which is aiming at a revival in the state where it had been in decline for more than a decade before making a dramatic comeback in the 2014 general elections when it won a stunning 71 Lok Sabha seats in UP, its best-ever performance till date.

The ancient temple town is bracing for hectic electioneering today as besides Modi’s visit, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to hold a joint road show criss-crossing through a major part of the city, while BSP supremo Mayawati will also be holding a rally on the outskirts.

Heavy deployment of forces is in place in the district, where voting will be held for all the seven assembly segments, five of them falling in the PM’s Lok Sabha constituency, on March 8.

Tags: election commission, narendra modi, shrikant sharma, bharatiya janata party
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi (Benares)